|Washington (6-5) «||0||3||0||0||1||3||1||0||x||8||10||1|
WASHINGTON -- This was a day for the Washington Nationals' veterans.
Livan Hernandez threw his first shutout in nearly six years, and catcher Ivan Rodriguez drove in three runs and boosted his batting average to .419. That was enough to give the Nationals their first winning record in more than two years.
Justin Maxwell, whose wife gave birth to their second child this week, added three RBI, and Ryan Zimmerman returned from a hamstring injury and drove in two in the Nationals' 8-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
Playing behind the 35-year-old Hernandez and the 38-year-old Rodriguez has made an impression on their younger teammates.
"It's a few years in the big leagues," Zimmerman said.
Hernandez didn't allow a hit after pitcher Randy Wolf's single in the fifth. He struck out three and walked two in his eighth career shutout -- his first since July 30, 2004, while with Montreal.
"I try not to think about it. When I've got a chance to go for it, I go, and the last inning was very good. It went fast," Hernandez said. "I'm very lucky."
Zimmerman made a sparkling play on a ground ball off the bat of Casey McGehee in the ninth.
It was the second straight outstanding start for Hernandez, who threw 112 pitches. He worked seven scoreless innings in New York on April 11, giving up five hits to the Mets.
Washington (6-5) won its third straight and owns a winning record for the first time since April 4, 2008, when the Nationals were 3-2.
Rodriguez knocked in three runs with a base hit in the second and a two-run double in the sixth. Maxwell also drove in three with a two-run home run in the second and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
"It's nice for young guys to have a catcher like that," Hernandez said. "For me, too."
Hernandez (2-0), thought to be a placeholder until phenom Stephen Strasburg is summoned from the minors, was in trouble only in the second inning when he loaded the bases on a double and two walks with one out. Wolf ended the inning by grounding into a double play.
"He's been in baseball a long time. I've been in baseball a long time. We know what to do," Rodriguez said. "He doesn't throw hard, but he locates pitches very well. He makes everybody's job easy."
Washington manager Jim Riggleman was surprised to learn that Hernandez hadn't thrown a shutout in so long.
"A shutout in today's world is almost nonexistent. Nobody throws them anymore," Riggleman said.
Wolf (1-1) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Wolf fell behind 3-0 in the second on Maxwell's home run -- his first of the season -- and Rodriguez's single.
"They pretty much handed it to us," Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said.
Zimmerman, starting his first game in a week after being sidelined by a strained left hamstring, drove in two runs with doubles in the fourth and seventh innings.
The Nationals added three runs in the sixth off Todd Coffey.
|The Nats' 73-year-old battery -- Livan Hernandez, 35, Ivan Rodriguez, 38 -- celebrates the victory. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.293|
|Craig Counsell, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.077|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.386|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.262|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.366|
|Jim Edmonds, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.267|
|Corey Hart, RF||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.250|
|George Kottaras, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.125|
|Randy Wolf, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.286|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Narveson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Jody Gerut, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.125|
|Manny Parra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Narveson in the 8th|
|2B - Casey McGehee (4, Hernandez), Jim Edmonds (3, Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Counsell-Weeks-Fielder|
|E - Jim Edmonds (1, Throwing), Corey Hart (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Randy Wolf (L,1-1)||5||4||4||4||3||4||1||4.91|
|Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 100-60, Todd Coffey 19-11, Chris Narveson 19-10, Manny Parra 8-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 5-6, Todd Coffey 1-2, Chris Narveson 1-1, Manny Parra 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 22, Todd Coffey 6, Chris Narveson 6, Manny Parra 3|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||0||.220|
|Cristian Guzman, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||1||1||.297|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||3||0||2||2||1||1||0||.292|
|Adam Dunn, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.156|
|Adam Kennedy, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Josh Willingham, LF||2||2||1||0||2||0||0||.382|
|Willie Harris, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.150|
|Ian Desmond, SS||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||2||2||3||0||0||1||.419|
|Justin Maxwell, RF||3||1||1||3||0||1||0||.200|
|Livan Hernandez, P||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|2B - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (5, Wolf, Narveson), Josh Willingham (4, Coffey), Ivan Rodriguez (5, Coffey)|
|HR - Justin Maxwell (1, Wolf)|
|SF - Justin Maxwell (1)|
|SH - Ian Desmond (3)|
|RBI - Ryan Zimmerman 2 (6), Ivan Rodriguez 3 (6), Justin Maxwell 3 (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Zimmerman (2)|
|SB - Cristian Guzman (1, 2nd base off Wolf/Kottaras)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Hernandez-Rodriguez-Dunn|
|E - Cristian Guzman (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Livan Hernandez (W,2-0)||9||4||0||0||2||3||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 112-66|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 14-10|
|Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 33|
|Attendance - 18673|
|Game Time - 2:26|
|Temperature - 61|
|Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Adrian Johnson|